£110m Factory Manchester moves closer after funding boost

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by Simon Austin

Factory Manchester, the £110million arts venue dubbed the ‘Guggenheim of the North’, has moved a step closer following the announcement of additional funding.

Arts Council England has announced that a lump sum of £7m Lottery cash as well as £9m in annual revenues will be given to the venue, which will be built on the site of the old Granada Studios.

Manchester City Council, which is working on the site with developers Allied London, said Factory Manchester would create around 1,500 full time jobs and add £1.1bn to the city’s economy over the course of a decade.

The project will cost £110m in total and £78m has already been secured through government funding. The City Council will contribute a further £20m, leaving a shortfall of £5m required from fundraising.

Manchester City Council leader Sir Richard Leese said: “Factory is going to change lives as well as the cultural landscape - not just here in Manchester, but nationally and internationally. The economic benefits to the city and wider region are huge.

“The impact it will have on arts education and the development of creative and technical talent is significant. And the range, scope, and scale of cultural opportunities it will provide for audiences from far and wide to come to the city and enjoy in this transformative and unique space will be unrivalled.

“Factory is, without doubt, what the arts world and Manchester has been waiting for.”

Factory Manchester, which is due to open in 2020, is expected to have a capacity of 7,500. Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas is designing the building after winning an international competition last year.